Live from Mysore #12 (people and stuff)

If you read my book you have heard the name Jonathan. He helped me out when I was lost in Bangalore in 2006. Jonathan is from California also (funny), but is living and co-operating a yoga shala in Gokulam called Bheemashakti I did a drop-in class there and studied with H.R. Suresh, Jonathan’s partner and teacher. Suresh is a real easy-to-be-around guy. He put me on this jungle gym thing to help me open up my back and more. Their yoga is not the yoga we are used to, but it is some cool stuff. The class is done on the roof of the building under an awning so you can see a bit of the city.

Viola is our neighbor; she has been to India many times and is going next to Goa to study. She has already studied with everyone in town… she is the Joni Yung of Mysore. We had a going-away breakfast with her at a nice café in Gokulam. We ate on their front lawn under a canopy.

Between French toast and a few odd yoga poses (I did shoulder stand on Viola while she did bridge), I ran into my friend Sean. I also know Sean from my first trip to India. Sean is involved with Odanadi ( and is setting up an around-the-world sun salutation event to bring awareness to and help stop human trafficking. We will be joining him in LA in March.

Got the wrap on Marichyasana D on my right side for the 3rd time since being here. It would be nice to get the other side but we’ll see. Of course, then where do I go? Because it never ends. BNS Iyengar took a photo with me after class today and even smiled. Someone is making a documetary on him so I guess he’s getting used to being an 83-year old yoga rock star. I don’t think he would have done it by choice. When someone asked him why he doesn’t have a current web site he said, “Am I doing something wrong?” His classes are full seven days a week. He only takes the new moon off.

Nancy has started an Iyengar dictionary. Here’s what she has so far:
“see the top” = look at the ceiling
“surround it” = bind the pose
“introduce the hands” = put your hands under your feet in padahastasana
“come to the position” = samasthiti
“roll on” = do chakrasana
“reverse the leg” = fold your leg out to the side for pashimottanasana C
“get up!” = into utkatasana; or from garba pindasana into kukkutasana
“fold the knee” = bend your leg for utthita parshvakonasana
“arrange your head” = tilt your head back and put the crown on the ground for setu bandhasana, matsyasana, uttana padasana, etc.
“Right leg! Right leg!!” = could be any number of things he wants you to do with your right leg (or left) but isn’t telling you.

I’m sitting now in the Mandala café having chai and scrambled eggs. It’s 8:30am here.


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